How to Buy a Freezer 🥶

There are several things to consider when purchasing a freezer. First, are the practical considerations of location and power supply. A porch or garage will do, but the freezer will likely wear out faster due to exterior heat. Close to the kitchen is ideal for accessibility and security of precious goods.

A reliable power supply that is grounded and not overburdened is necessary in order to store the food long term. The highest quality nutrition keeps the longest in a deep freezer of at least -20 degrees F. 0 degrees F is for short term (3-6 months) storage only.

The next issue is how to gauge usage. A popular metric for FishHuggers is one pound per person per week. Let’s assume a 6 month supply for a family or group of 4. That looks like 96 pounds total, which will easily fit in a small chest freezer or medium upright freezer. Price determines how cold the freezer will hold and how long it will last. Low end freezers are rarely worth the price and in our experience, typically barely make it past the warranty period. Commercial freezers are worth the extra money because your food will maintain its quality for much longer. Used freezers are great for your yearly supply of green chile or an abundance from the garden to process later, however, it can be difficult to determine age or condition, and freezers are rarely repairable.

All freezers are more efficient full. Bags of ice or water bottles and gel packs are a great way to keep your freezer full as you eat the food. Beware of colorful packaging for processed foodstuff. The pigments used to decorate boxes are toxic and contaminate with off flavors found in freezer burn from poorly packaged or mishandled frozen goods. In this case, oxygen is the enemy, so when you find a broken or frosted package, consume it next or feed to pets if undesirable. Perfect vacuum sealed product can last years in the right freezer without compromising flavor or nutrition.

My favorite “barn find” deep freezer was built in the early 1960’s. It’s decorated with custom turquoise paint and chrome trim over a solid steel body, and has a rainproof lid. It hums all day at -23 degrees F and was built to last, unlike anything today.

There is always a risk of loss, from blackouts to freezer failure and theft. Food security and predictable quality motivates me to invest in food harvested at its peak, which encourages seasonality. This forward thinking method supports my ability to serve my favorite meals any time of the year, like a boss flexing for no one to see. 💪 “We are grateful” echoes in my ears when we eat real food as a family isolated from the noise and fear of the world around us.

If you have further questions or need assistance purchasing a freezer, let me know, I’m here to help.

Pro Tip: Purchase a freezer thermometer to keep in your freezer so you’ll always know its temperature. These are widely available at most grocery stores and online.

Cheers,

Kenny

Wild Salmon (Pt. 2) – Keta

Welcome to part 2 in our 3 part series on Wild Pacific Salmon. Last time, we discussed Coho, one of the largest salmon with a medium flavor and firm texture. You may recall, Coho is America’s favorite salmon for grilling. This week our focus is on the lesser known Keta Salmon. 

In rural Alaska, Keta is intrinsically tied to subsistence fishing. Families in Alaska’s coastal communities rely on subsistence salmon fishing to survive. As the most widely distributed salmon species throughout Alaska, Keta is commonly caught for subsistence and preserved by smoking. As the 3rd largest Wild Pacific Salmon, Keta has an average weight of 8 pounds. Known throughout the US and around the globe as Chum, Dog, or Silverbrite Salmon, Keta has a firm texture, pink color and mild flavor. A 3 ounce serving of Keta Salmon contains 22 grams of protein, 2.9 mcg of vitamin B12, 683 mg Omega 3s DHA & EPA, 470 mg potassium and trace amounts of selenium and phosphorous. Lower cooking temperatures are recommended for Keta due to its lower oil content. Keta is a versatile salmon and is great for baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, sautéing, smoking, sushi/sashimi, roasting and steaming. 

Many of our customers here in the American southwest prefer Keta due to its milder flavor. Consider that its omega 3 content is superior to cod, halibut and almost all other whitefish. Keta is so mild you can use it as a substitute for almost any whitefish. Great for fish and chips, ceviche, or fish tacos. Sauces, salsas and chile all work well with Keta. Crispy seared Keta Salmon skin is special treat! Although it may seem fancy or illusive, poaching salmon is simple and the result is always delicious!

Try a fast fish recipe:

Easy Poached Keta Salmon

Ingredients

4 cups cold water

Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tbs)

1 medium onion, quartered

1 stalk celery, cut into 3-in. chunks

1 carrot, cut into 3-in. chunks

1 bay leaf

12 peppercorns

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

Pinch sea salt

1.5 pounds Keta Salmon filets

Directions

In a 3-quart saute pan or shallow pot, combine water with lemon juice, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, and a large pinch of salt.

Add the salmon to the poaching liquid. The water should just cover the salmon. Turn the burner to medium, and heat until the poaching liquid just starts to simmer. Do not bring the liquid to a full boil.

Cover and cook the salmon for about 7 to 10 more minutes.

Transfer the salmon to a plate or platter and allow to rest for five minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with a topping of choice. Some of our favorite toppings include green chile salsa, yogurt dill sauce, lemon caper butter sauce, honey ginger glaze and dijon mustard.

Tip: For a variation on poaching liquid, use half dry white wine (or sake) and half water in place of 4 cups of water. Other options for poaching solution include fresh pressed carrot juice, green tea or homemade broth.

ENJOY!

Brenna & Kenny

Wild Salmon (Pt. 1) – Coho

As mentioned in last week’s post, we are currently offering 3 species of Wild Pacific Salmon. Each salmon has its own unique flavor and nutritional profile. Today we’ll focus on Coho, a longtime FishHugger favorite.

Coho, also known as Silver Salmon, is the 2nd largest species of Wild Pacific Salmon with an average weight of 12 pounds. Generally, Coho is considered America’s favorite wild salmon and widely considered the best salmon for grilling. Coho is known for its delicate flavor and firm orange-red flesh. A 3 ounce serving of coho provides 20 grams of protein, 4.3 mcg of vitamin B12, 900 mg of Omega 3s DHA & EPA, 9.6 mcg of vitamin D and trace amounts of phosphorous, selenium, and potassium. The marine derived omega-3 fatty acids found in coho (and all wild salmon) are readily absorbed by the body, and much more nutritionally valuable than fish oil capsules.

Here’s an easy recipe to try:

Planked Alaska Coho Salmon with Mediterranean Medley

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons of one of the following: fresh marjoram, Thai basil, basil, or oregano
1.5 pounds Alaska Coho Salmon filets
1/2 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Soak wood plank in water 30 minutes to 2 hours. Blend herbs.

Pat wood plank with paper towels and lightly oil one side. Lay Coho Salmon on coated side of plank. Squeeze lemon juice on salmon; season liberally with salt and pepper. Pat/rub 1 to 2 tablespoons herb blend on each salmon portion or all onto salmon side. Let the salmon rest 5 minutes before cooking.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill salmon using indirect heat in covered grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cook just until the salmon is opaque throughout.

Tip: This recipe works great whether you use a plank or cook straight on the grill. Or bake at 400 degrees F (6 to 7 inches from heat source) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6 people with a total prep and cook time of 30 minutes.

We are currently offering a June 2021 special on a case of coho salmon (25 pounds). Join our email list to get access to monthly market specials or contact us for details.

Eat Well,

Brenna & Kenny